David finds winning Path in Eddie Logan
Even-money favorite Path of David rolled to a comfortable one-length victory in the $79,250 Eddie Logan S., but he’s not the only one to take from the New Year’s Eve feature at Santa Anita. Arabian Leopard, who blew his chance with a lackadaisical start, and found himself far back in last, uncorked a terrific late run to get up for third. (He's pictured to the left of the winner above.)
Adding further fodder for the notebook, runner-up Imperious One likewise deserves extra credit for being the only pace factor to stick around for the finish. After his non-threatening ninth when making his U.S. debut in the November 29 Cecil B. DeMille (G3), trainer Doug O’Neill promised that Imperious One would be more prominent early, and he was as good as his word. With first-time blinkers, the Euro import pressed Storming Candy and Bully Pulpit through splits of :22.84 and :46.77 on the firm turf, and readily struck the front at the six-furlong mark in 1:11.70.
Path of David had been parked in an advantageous spot by Joe Talamo, within striking distance but relaxed behind the contested pace and the cohort immediately chasing the leaders. Smoothly advancing on the far turn, the Kristin Mulhall trainee went after Imperious One in the stretch and overhauled him. Still in hand, Path of David covered the mile in 1:36.07.
At the same time, Arabian Leopard was making eyecatching headway wider out. More than a dozen lengths back at the first call, the Scat Daddy juvenile erased nearly all of his self-induced deficit and was beaten a total of 1 1/2 lengths in third. The $575,000 OBS June purchase remains one to watch for Bob Baffert.
Campaigned by Ike and Dawn Thrash in partnership with Sam and Janet Alley, Path of David has now bankrolled $90,555 from his 6-2-1-1 line. More important, he stamped himself as a new 3-year-old of 2016 to follow. A $100,000 Keeneland September yearling, Path of David began his career with Mike Stidham and was beginning to get his act together after switching to turf. He finally broke his maiden first time out for Mulhall at Del Mar November 28, and made it two in a row here.
Path of David was bred by former Kentucky Governor Brereton C. Jones. By the Gone West stallion Istan and out of the Dynaformer mare Rimini Road, the bay gelding is a full brother to Atigun, the third-placer in the 2012 Belmont S. (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Marathon (G2) who later became a graded performer on turf. Path of David has already one-upped his brother by becoming a stakes winner, and may inherit the same surface versatility and stamina.
Quotes courtesy of Santa Anita
Jockey Joe Talamo on Path of David: “It felt like the pace was pretty honest which we thought was going to happen. We were able to save ground around the first turn and by the three-eighths, I had so much horse I didn’t want to take the chance of getting him stopped. I took him to the outside and he did the rest.”
Trainer Kristin Mulhall on Path of David: “I was a bit worried when the rails were out (to 20 feet) today but when I saw the winner of the fourth race today close well, I was happy with that. We’re probably going to try the dirt with him next. He got good when he stretched out and I think we’ll try the dirt again with him.”
Photo courtesy of Benoit.